What you need to know

  • A new Windows 10 20H1 preview build is now available one the Fast ring.
  • This release brings updates to Cortana and the Windows Subsystem for Linux, along with a ton of bug fixes.
  • Windows Insiders on the Fast ring can download build 18980 via Windows Update now.

Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 20H1 preview build for Insiders on the Fast ring to check out today. This release bumps the build number up to 18980 and, while it doesn't include any major new features, there are some updates concerning using Cortana regardless of your display language, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and a ton of bug fixes.

The biggest bit to come out of this build is that Microsoft is now working to bring Cortana to everyone who can speak a supported language, no matter what their display language is set to. That's huge for regions in which Cortana isn't currently supported. The WSL2 change to support ARM64 devices will also be a welcome improvement for many developers out there.

Here's a rundown of what's new and fixed in build 18980.

What's new in build 18980

  • An update on Cortana: In response to feedback, we are executing a plan to make it easier for all Windows customers to use Cortana. As a first step, starting with today's build, all Insiders worldwide will see the Cortana icon and the new app. In a future Cortana app update, customers will have the option to use Cortana if they speak a supported language, regardless of their OS display language. The new Cortana app currently supports English (United States)—because Cortana is service backed, we can and will continue to add new languages over the coming months outside the bounds of OS build updates. We expect to support the same set of regions and languages we currently support in retail by 20H1 launch. We will share more details of our language rollout plans as they progress and appreciate your patience during this transition period.
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Improvements: In this build, we've added WSL2 support for ARM64 devices! We've also added the ability to set your distribution's default user using the /etc/wsl.conf file. This release also contains multiple bug fixes, including a long-standing issue for legacy Windows symlinks (for example those in the user profile directory.)
  • Update on the Optional Features settings section improvements: These changes are now available to all Insiders in Fast! Thanks to those who've already tried it out and shared feedback. If the experience is just rolling out to you now, we can't wait to hear what you think! To quickly recap, amongst other things, we've added multi-select, search, and generally done work to make this section easier to use:

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • There was an upgrade block on the previous flight in order to ensure that Insiders with certain versions of Outlook weren't impacted by an issue in the build, which resulted in some insiders not finding the build when they checked for updates last week. This has been removed with this flight.
  • We fixed a deadlock in netprofmsvc.dll that was occurring in recent builds. Symptoms for those impacted potentially included upgrade to the build freezing at 98%, or (if you were able to upgrade,) various aspects of the system unexpectedly freezing and becoming unresponsive.
  • We've done some work to help address an issue where Outlook wouldn't launch if you clicked an incoming email notification.
  • We fixed an issue impacting touch keyboard reliability in recent builds.
  • We fixed an issue impacting WIN+(Period) reliability.
  • We've made the decision to return to the retail build version of the Korean IME while we work on addressing feedback Insiders shared with us about the updated IME experience.
  • We fixed an issue impacting screen snipping reliability in the last few flights.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in the login screen acrylic on the previous flight sometimes unexpectedly showing squares around UI elements.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in certain app thumbnails going unexpectedly blank when you right-clicked them in Task View.
  • We fixed an issue where removable devices were erroneously labeled as HDD in Task Manager's performance tab. They will now be labeled Removable.
  • As some Insiders have noticed, to give you the option to save disk space if needed, we've converted MS Paint and WordPad into Optional Features. You can choose to uninstall them or reinstall them via Optional Features in Settings.
  • We've made some adjustments to help improve performance of the Apps & Features page in Settings when searching.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in Settings crashing when updating your account picture.
  • Ease of Access settings are no longer participating in settings synchronization (roaming). Accordingly, we have now removed the Ease of Access toggle in Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings.
  • Magnifier reading now works better in applications like Google Chrome and Firefox.
  • Magnifier reading no longer clicks the application when using the "Read from here" button or the Ctrl + Alt + Left Mouse Click keyboard shortcut.
  • We fixed an issue where the text cursor indicator would not display when switching between left-to-right and right-to-left languages.
  • We fixed an issue where the text cursor indicator would sometimes appear on read-only areas of the screen.
  • We fixed an issue where the text cursor indicator would appear over the Start menu instead of staying in the Search edit box after typing text in the Search edit box.
  • Improved the ability of reading the title of the window with Narrator while reading messages in Outlook.
  • Improved auto-reading in Outlook with Narrator to make it more reliable.
  • Made changes to more reliably read the message headers using Narrator while reading when using the Shift + Tab command while in Scan Mode.
  • Improved the verbosity of Narrator when reading lists at verbosity level one.
  • We fixed an issue that an edit field on some webpages was not getting properly updated on a configured braille display when editing the contents.
  • We fixed an issue where certain Local Experience Packs (LXPs) may revert to English.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in certain Wi-Fi adapters not being able to load (code 10 error) after upgrading from a previous release of Windows and needing to be disabled and re-enabled for it to work.

Windows 10 build 18980 is available for Insiders on the Fast ring to download now via Windows Update. For more on this release, along with a list of known issues, you can check out the full release notes at the Windows Blog.